IF’s resident travel expert: Alice Winterbottom

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Dear Aunt Alice,

I know this is really about travelling with children, but the thing is, my kid won’t do road trips without his dog who is his best friend. Well, second best anyway.

What’s with hotels that call themselves ‘pet friendly’ being so filthy and revolting? I don’t like flea-ridden accommodation, and neither does the dog (or the kid).

I often dress the dog in a bonnet and a dress so that fancier hotels think he is a baby, but they do look at me with suspicion, and it doesn’t always work.

Do you have any tips?

Yours in anticipation,

Desperate Dot

Dear Desperate Dot,

Firstly, you need to be congratulated on taking your family on the road. And a big pat on the back for refusing to subject both your son and your beloved pet to fleas.  I once stayed at a “pet-friendly” establishment with my camel, and never again. I didn’t see a single pet during my entire stay… so who was barking all night long is beyond me.

But Dot dear, you need to stop being paranoid. It is a well-known fact that dogs and their owners look alike. The hoteliers aren’t looking at you with suspicion. They’re marvelling at your baby and the family resemblance.

Fortunately, camels and their riders also tend to look alike. I discovered that a stylish pair of sunglasses opens doors at the best hotels and my camel and I often relax there in a twin share room.  To this day the Concierge at the Raffles thinks I have a sister.

Yours sincerely,